Mai Moua Thao ‘22
St. Paul, Minnesota

I spent the summer interning at St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN), a local nonprofit that uses film, TV, digital communications, and other media tools to build community and share the stories of underrepresented people. For example, SPNN produces and airs original documentaries about different issues affecting the local community, such as college readiness among underrepresented groups, or water issues affecting local Native peoples. As a Doc. U intern, I’ve been assisting SPNN’s filmmakers in creating those documentaries.

As part of that work, I’ve been focusing on three specific projects:

  • Making promotional videos for the Doc. U screenings
  • Creating profile videos for each Doc. U filmmaker/participant
  • Creating an informational video about the ‘Six Modes of Documentary’

I came to SPNN with a lot of passion for film, but without a lot of experience in the craft. The staff here have all been very kind, and have taught me how to handle professional filming and editing equipment that I’d never had the chance to work with before.

I also learned a lot more about my community. I’m a St. Paul local, but being at SPNN made me realize I didn’t know of the different matters in this community as well as I thought I did. Over the course of the summer, I’ve learned a lot about myself, the community that I’m part of, and about film as a process. SPNN has been a very welcoming space and I’m very grateful for this opportunity.

Mai’s summer experience is being supported through a Macalester Summer Internship Grant.

August 20 2019

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